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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  December 23, 2013 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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thanks for watching today. i want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy new year. and up next, "the ed show," with joy reid filling in. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show." live from new york, i'm joy reid in for ed schultz. and as ed would say, let get to work. women with women, man with man. they committed indecent acts with one another. >> living together! mass hysteria. >> and they have the due penalty for their perversion. >> real wrath of god type stuff. >> i actually thought what we said about african-americans in the south under jim crow was so much more offensive. >> jesus was a white man too. >> you can judge a book by its cover.
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>> the bible is the greatest gift god ever gave to mankind. >> these 15 -- 10! 10 commandments the for all to obey. >> not all cultures are equal. not all values are equal. >> how blessed are we to be able to pray together. >> we think he has a right to say what he wants. >> boy, and is there some immorality going on around here. >> the duck dynasty saga has proven one thing. the culture wars may be over and let's face it, they are over. but the insurgency has only just begun. and the american right has put aside any notion that needing to be the least bit embarrassed by bigotry is the order of the day. so long as couched in christianity. almost anything you see has a ready defense and even more
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ready defenders. after "duck dynasty" star phil robertson made remarks that were clearly offensive to gays and black americans, the right responded this way. sean hannity said on his radio show, phil robertson is just an old-fashioned christian. >> what he expressed here was probably more old fashioned traditional question sentiment and value. whether you like it or not. i mean, has the country now gotten to a point where if you express your faith, and you believe in good, evil, sin and not sin, which is a concept i would argue culturally society has maybe even rejected. but if you express it, now it means, oh, your show is at risk of cancellation. >> okay, fox news star ann coulter also came to robertson's defense. she said for christmas -- she said for christians there is nothing offensive about the "duck dynasty" star's comments. >> it's outrageous, it's
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unbelievable and people who believe -- i mean, first i dig christians but far beyond christians, people who believe in speech. i mean, there's nothing offensive about what phil robertson said. >> republican congressional candidate, ian bain, even compared phil robertson so rosa parks, because clearly she too had lots to say about gay people and thought black americans were better off during segregation. no. actually, she didn't. and finally, we have failed presidential candidate, newt gingrich, who waited with this gem of a comparison. >> ironically, if you read the whole interview, and not just take one section, he talks very specifically about loving everybody. he talks very specifically about not being judgmental towards anyone. that that's god's decision, not his. i mean, it is a remarkable -- there are sections where he sounds a lot like pope francis. >> that's right. newt gingrich just compared phil robertson to the pope. remarks like these have been the norm for the right in defending phil robertson and it's the aw
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shucks defense. if you're a christian and southern and aw shucks, you just don't know any better, it's totally acceptable on the right for you to be a bigot. and you know, what the aw shucks defense, it's working. a & e network suspension of robertson, forget about it. the network announced robertson will be in the new episodes next year and even running a "duck dynasty" marathon over the holiday for the kids. following the controversy, crack crackle barrel stores yanked their merchandise but fans went ballistic. fans bottom baumbarded the stor crackle barrel cracked. they released a statement on their facebook page skag, quote, when we made the decision to remove many items, we offended many loyal customers. today we are putting our products back in the stores and we apologize for offending you. this comes at the same time there's a new video of robertson that has surfaced. here's robertson giving a sermon
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back in 2010. >> women with women, men with men, they committed indecent acts with one another, and they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions. they're full of murder, envy, strife. they are ins lot, arrogant, god-haters. heartless. >> the religious context to this controversy is very important. robertson's defenders say his remarks are okay, because he's a devout christian. and certain part of the bible breach against homosexuality. and that actually is true. but we should point out that certain parts of the bible also appear to preach against, let's say, oh, i don't know, christmas trees. here is jeremiah 10:10. it reads, for the practices of the peoples are worthless. they cut a tree out of the forest andman and a craftsman adore it with hammer nails so it
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will not totter. their idols cannot speak. do not fear them, they can do no harm nor can they do any good. keep in good, the bible preaches against homosexuality, that is true. but it also may preach against christmas trees. this actually puts phil robertson in a tough spot. >> phil takes great pride in trimming the christmas tree. which always creates quite the mess. >> the aw, shucks defense is bogus, but sadly, at least for now, it's working. take your cell phones out. tonight's question. does being a christian excuse bigotry. a. for yes, b. for no to 67622 or go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and i'll bring the results later in the show. let me bring in dr. michael eric dyson, msnbc political analyst and importantly for the purposes of this discussion, a theologian in his own right, as well as a
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man of great verbal mellifluous talent. the religious part of this is important. because the bible, as plainly interpreted, can be complicated. >> sure. >> it can be somewhat vague sometimes. >> absolutely. >> and can't you find as much exhortation against christmas trees if you want to read it that way as you can against homosexuality. >> all this can be in terms of the bible. the bible can be taken out of context. we've heard it before. if you heard it as a text out of context, a pretext and subtext, you're all messed up. the use of the bible to justify that aw shucks bigotry is brilliant. what it says, everything that is bigoted, the right wing who are conservatives and christians can say hey, that's just -- you're being politically correct. oh, so the line of bigotry against black people or gay and lesbian people or other peoples
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meets -- in the sands where christianity asserts itself and now these people think you're taking away my free speech, all of my christianity. no. there was a whole movement. martin luther king jr. was a christian but said i want to use my christianity to work toward a just nation, not use as a pretext to justify bigotry against everybody else in the nation. >> what's interesting, it does play into sort of the persecution narrative you do see on the right. the sense we're being persecuted. there is a war on christmas, our free speech. even though no government, let's just be clear, there is no government that intervened to do anything to phil robertson. these were private companies. >> absolutely right. and look. not only are they talking about persecution, but they're putting up their own nails. they're climbing up their own tree and hanging up by themselves. ain't nobody hosting them up there. they're saying look at me, because i'm raised up and look at me being a victim here. so the victim mentality is amazing. they're always talking to left wing people or progressives or liberals or black people or women saying stop that victim mentality. who is a bigger victimizer than -- sean hannity and ann
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coulter and phil robertson and the whole duck dynasty? now all of a sudden your ability to be un -- if you will, subtle about your bigotry gets you in trouble. now you want to turn to cracker barrel. and let's take a poll test here. because now if we offend our listeners and people who come to our stores because all of a sudden the bigotry against african-american people and gay and lesbian people outrages them, what if we had done that during the civil rights movement? you know what, the citians can't go on because the white people are upset and offended that we have wlak people. to use that as a litmus test is not only ridiculous, it's against the very interests of the nation more broadly and against christianity at its base. >> funny you should mention black people, michael eric dyson. when ann coulter says there is nothing offensive -- i had to write it down. nothing offensive about what phil robertson said. but one of the things he said, black people were happy and better off before the civil rights movement.
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>> right. >> i've noticed that the right is not explicitly defending that. they're pretending he didn't say it. why do you suppose that is? >> we don't count. again, this is, again, among those victimized, this is why it's important as martin luther king jr. said, i'm not russia, but i would speak out against it. i'm not catholic, but if it happens against catholics, i'll speak out. i want gay and -- i've been critical of black people not speaking up for gay people. that's number one. we are relegated to the margins here. happy? we were trying to fake out white people and convince them so we could survive long enough to. jim crow, it was a system that where black people could lose their lives. where rape was a reality for african-american women. where lynching was a reality for african-american men. and mexicans, by the way. and it was one of the most vicious systemic acts of
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injustice. and so much so, that in 1910, 90% of black people lived in the south where jim crow flew. that's why they got out of there. they said we're going to rise up out of here and the great migration is testimony to the fact that black people hated the jim crow. next time you come up with the happy negro happy feet movement, remember that african-american people used their spirituals as ways for others and finding ways to subvert the tyranny of white supremacy so they could get the heck out of there. no, we were not happy with it. but in the midst of that, we tried to adjust so we could move beyond it. and sometimes some black people, of course, wereca joeled into agreeing with it. but we never were happy about it. and we never accepted it, and jim crow was a heinous act of injustice. and ann coulter and sean hannity out to be anamed and gay and lesbian and transgender and bisexual people ought to speak up and link their own fate to american people, because ultimately we're in the thing together. >> what do you think of this
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attempt to recruit essentially rosa parks? because this is something that has been done before on the right. any time that something they say is taken as offensive by african-americans or taken as offensive by the lgbt community, you get well, martin luther king jr. would have been on our side or rosa parks or phil robertson. what counseling do you think of that as a tactic? >> first of all, it's skurless, but the same as using jesus and making jesus cosign this bigotry here. jesus was a jew who around -- around whom a religion was made. so the anti-semitism of christians is ironic to begin with. and secondly, the gay and lesbian stuff, look in the bible. the same men who stand up in the church of all men, i put my god, jesus, over all women. i love him more than i love her. hmmm. do you really? that sounds interestingly homo erotic to people outside your religious traditions. i'm not suggesting it is, but sim suggesting there is some subtle narrative tensions within the bible itself and christianity beyond that.
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but to use martin luther king jr. and rosa parks and my good friend jimmy down the street who didn't find a problem when yeeg rows were being happy. to use them as test cases for their own bigotry is again to radify the ignorance upon which bigotry rests and an insult to african-american people. they don't know their history. rosa parks was an activist against rape culture and then subsequently against white supremacy. martin luther king jr., ralph abernathy, angela davis, rosa parks, all of them were in a contest against the -- if you will, the devaluation of african-american culture and more broadly, wanted to embrace the rights of everybody in the way. so for -- you know, those who would then adapt to the civil rights movement. so for me, for the duck dynasty and others of their defenders to appeal to martin luther king jr. and rosa parks is a denial of the legitimacy of those movements. and it cheapens it, by the way. martin luther king jr. was not a
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christian in the same way these folks were christians. martin luther king jr. said this. i sometimes look at their churches and go what kind of god are you serving? if that's the god you're serving, don't count me in. when he heard that george wallace was supporting school prayer said i had to be against it. that's martin luther king, reverend dr. martin luther king jr., because he knew about dressing up your bigotry in the garb of religion as opposed to exposing yourself so that all peoples who oh fall above god recognize they're sinners and therefore in the need of love. i don't see the self critique among these christians on the right. where is your self criticism? what would god be distressed with? what would oh god be disgusted with? how would god be critical of you? they are so righteous. everybody thinks if jesus were to come again, they would embrace him. no, they all are the kibld putting jesus on the end. we don't want anybody who is snotty-nosed, black, gay. these are the people jesus came for. i have come for the least of
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these. and as a result of that, the people's inability to make those distinctions reinforces the very bigotry that jesus stood against. >> dr. michael eric dyson, well-said and hopefully somebody on the right will listen. at least to jesus. if not to michael eric dyson. remember to answer tonights question at the bottom of your screen and do share your thoughts on twitter at ed show and facebook. i do want to know what you think. and coming up, our commander in chief handled being commander of teens. president obama talks about his life as a dad. stay ahead. baby, you can see her halo. beyonce gave a very generous gift to hundreds of strangers for christmas. [ male announcer ] the new new york is open.
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time now for the trenders. you can find the show at twitter -- on twitter at ed show and find me on twitter. the ed show social media nation has decided and is we are reporting. here are today's top trenders, voted on by you. >> sometimes it's harder to be a dad than it is to be president. >> the number three trender. first dad. >> they grow up so fast. they're both wonderful young ladies and malia and sasha are very sensible so i trust them to make good decisions. >> president obama discusses some family matters with steve harvey. >> this dating thing. it's a concern. >> i've got men with guns following them around all of the time. >> a dad with his own armed secret service. that kind of makes me a little less nervous about it. >> sometimes being president has its advantages. >> anything that happens to my daughter, i've got a .45 and a shovel. i doubt anybody would miss you. >> the number two trender, oh, christmas bee. >> hello, walmart shoppers it's
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beyonce. >> she plays secret santa for last-minute shoppers. >> sometimes waiting until the last day does pay off. >> i wanted to give everyone a gift. for everyone in the store right now, the first $50 of your holiday gifts are on me. merry merry christmas from beyonce. >> and today's top trender, lou christmas. >> republicans have thrown unemployed americans under the bus. >> because congress didn't act, more than 1 million of their constituents will lose a vital economic lifeline at christmastime. >> there are people having trouble making their miracle happen. >> the grinchy old party leaves more than 1 million americans without unemployment benefits this weekend. >> the burden is on the republican party to pass the unemployment extension. >> you have to do something. you have to take a chance. >> the clock is ticking. people have got bills to pay. >> and joining me now is congresswoman eddie bernice johnson of texas. and congresswoman, this is obviously the most wonderful
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time of the year for so many americans. but for a lot of people, this is about to be a really difficult season with unemployment benefits expiring. how serious is this for your constituents and for americans? >> well, it's very serious, for my constituents unemployed and for america. we are talking about 1.3 million people that will come off the rolls now. just think about it. if at least half of that 1.3 million was able to buy one doll for their daughter, then it would increase the supply chain, the manufacturers would make money, the retailers would make money. without that, it really affects that supply all the way down the line. so it affects the recovery for the economic status of our country. >> congresswoman, that is such a conservative, sort of obvious case for doing unemployment benefit extension, because as you said, it ultimately helps business. do you find that your colleagues on the other side of the aisle are at all persuaded by that
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argument? >> no. what i hear often oh is that these people are too lazy to work. that is not the truth. we have not passed a jobs bill. we have not created more jobs. as a matter of fact, we have cut out a lot of jobs with all the cuts. when we cut, it is doing away with jobs. that is the effect of cutting. and so a lot of the people cannot find jobs. they have been laid off. they are looking for jobs. you know, it's interesting. all these so-called deadbeat people that they're looking for that are unemployed, they don't live in my district. and i don't get in touch with them. i don't know where they are. but they must be in the republicans' districts if that's their attitude about it. >> given a bleak assessment, senator harry reid has said on the senate side, the unemployment benefits extension is expected to come up. do you expect speaker boehner to do the same in the house? >> i would hope that he would.
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i have a great deal of respect for speaker boehner. i know that he is operating on a great deal of restraint and pressure. but this is very much needed. and you know, the other thing is, it's always implied that it's minorities not want to go work. this is not a minority issue. this is a very inclusive, diverse issue. you know, african-americans make a 15 or less percent of the total american population. and it's true, they have a larger percent unemployed. but when you consider that small number, that is a small number of people as compared to the rest of the population. so it's not an issue of color or race. it is the americans who are unemployed. >> and congresswoman, are you hearing from your constituents on this? >> yes, i am. and i can say this. most of -- most of them that i've heard from are not minorities. >> all right. congresswoman eddie bernice johnson, we really appreciate you joining us. thank you. >> thank you very much. all right. and coming up, greta van
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susteren wants to know why we don't win the war on poverty. and tom crato thinks the silent treatment will keep his party safe. the right wing's arbiter of which american cities are in the third world. yeah, congressman, miami remembers that, lands in tonight's pretenders. next, i'm taking your questions. ask joy live is just ahead. stay tuned. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness...
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welcome back to "the ed show." we love hearing from our viewers. including my michael dyson. we'll try to slow down a tiny bit. tonight in ask joy live, our question is from brian keith. why do republicans refuse to help the president? okay, brian. i think the reason for that is because pure politics is driving the party, not policy. we have a jump ball election in 2016 and the last thing republicans want to do is give the president accomplishments that the next democrat, hillary clinton, can take into the
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election. republicans just want the white house back, so helping barack obama doesn't help them. and i think that's what's behind their decisions, and also obviously there's a huge ideological gulf between the two parties. our next question is from jimmy bear. can you mention one thing positive about the republican party? okay. i will. dwight david eisenhower. all right. stick around. the rapid response panel is next. i'm hampton pearson, and this is your cnbc news now. stocks close higher in extending the record-breaking santa rally. the dow gaining 73 points, the s&p up 10. the nasdaq earning 44 points. apple has signed a long-anticipated deal with china mobile to sell iphones on the world's biggest mobile phone network. iphones will be available to china mobile customers starting january 17th, although the company will begin taking orders on wednesday. the deal gives apple the ability to compete for china mobile's
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750 million customers. retail stocks in focus with only two shopping days left until christmas. retail next says people bought less than the final weekend before christmas, usually one of the busiest weekends, despite those deeper discounts. and aaa says a record number of americans, 86 million, are traveling by car over the holidays. and thelund the national average is down to $3.26 a gallon after a month of increases. that's your cnbc news now. stick with innovation.
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1965, we started the war on poverty, and failed drastically. so whatever we did to win this war on poverty has been an abject failure. i would like to see someone come
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in like reagan came in and said why don't we just win the war on poverty and come up with new ideas because whatever we're doing is failing. >> welcome back to "the ed show." greta van susteren got one thing right this past weekend and it was this. in the war on poverty, poverty seems to be winning. but let's be clear. it's the heartless ebenezer scrooge republican approach, slashing billions from s.n.a.p. and unemployment benefits that's actually losing the war on poverty in america. let's look at how the gop fights the war on poverty. last week, georgia congressman jack kingston made headlines when he suggested children should sweep cafeteria floors to earn their school meals and get the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch. kingston was referring to the national school lunch program, where children from families with incomes at or below 130% of the federal poverty level are eligible for free lunches. in this case, the gop war on
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poverty tactic is to target a program which provides literal sustenance to children. on friday, kingston was forced to clarify exactly what he meant. >> the greater discussion was about the american work ethic, and how do we pass that on to the next generation? and, you know, giving it to my critics in terms of, well, i did not specify clearly this was not an indictment on anybody in a particular socioeconomic group. this would be good for all children. i never did say poor kids. >> are you saying you weren't talking about kids who get free lunches, that that wasn't mentioned at all? >> well, i think i could have clarified that a lot better. >> okay. but let's actually clarify. the only kids who are eligible for those so-called free lunches are poor kids. so he never said poor kids, but that doesn't really matter. all that matters is the sentiment behind congressman kingston's suggestion, which is essentially a perpetuation of the incidious sort of idea of makers versus takers. his ayn randian idea that
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republicans to continue to insist on that they're lazy or lacking worth ethic. so of course, clearly, their kids should be taught to have a work ethic by being socially human ale i willated. his comments got attention because he was talking about children but most of the time more subtle. take this exchange i had on saturday with a former adviser to the romney campaign. >> if you are on unemployment insurance and then you get a job, lose that benefit, that's what creates the disincentive to seek work. if the benefit is consistent, regardless of whether you have a job or not, you have more of an incentive to actually seek work. >> the case being made here, the recipients are unmotivated to find work because if they do, they will no longer be given a handout. so instead of receiving a fraction of their former income in the form of unemployment benefits, they should just go on welfare. that's really what he was arguing, here's the catch. conservatives also oppose the welfare programs that roy
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suggests as an alternative. so where are these people supposed to go? it's this myth, this vilization of the poor that makes it so difficult for democrats to enact sufficient policies that actually do fight the war on poverty. joining me now is our rapid response panel, democratic strategist, bob shrum and msnbc contributor james peterson. bob, i want to rely on your institutional memory. it is interesting the way greta van susteren framed it, we have been fighting a war on poverty and it failed, so we need to go back to reagan. but isn't that true that really the time when you saw the income gap widen, when you saw inequality gap really widen, was during the reagan years. >> oh, sure. that's right. look, the history here is wrong. the policy is despicable. the morality is odious. under lyndon johnson, the war on poverty, the number of people in poverty in this country was going down. then nixon became president, slashed those programs and poverty began to rise again. same thing happened after the clinton years.
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look, you have a republican party here that believes in a form of social darwinism. that is, take care of the rich, take care of the fittest. and the poor just get left out in the cold. my hope is that if these congressional republicans and greta van susteren say a prayer this christmas season, that they're going to go in there and they're going to say an act of contrition for cutting food stamps and cutting unemployment benefits, and taking food out of the mouths of hungry children. it's one of the worst arguments that i have ever heard in public policy that somehow or other the way to help poor people and to make them poorer. >> james, what struck people about the jack kingston idea, this idea you should make kids sweep the floor, he says not just poor kids but self-evident the only kids who get school lunches are poor kids. i guess this aspect of social humiliation. this idea that because their parents don't have money, these children should be subjected to essentially a form of social humiliation.
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is that how you read it? >> it's disgusting. if you've worked with young people who are impoverished or live in poverty, the fact they live in poverty, joy, is burden enough. you don't have to shame them anymore, don't have to challenge them to understand what the value of a meal is. they understand better what the value of lunch is. than rich kids who can afford to go out and buy lunch wherever they want. and so that just -- it's inverted and really insane. the challenge here, though, is if -- people want to talk about poverty now, largely because the president has finally started to talk about poor folk and talk about poverty so people are trying to respond and kind of jockey for position around what kind of policies are going to be smart, the policies that work that we know that work to end and address issues of poverty are not -- we'll ultimate endorse. affordable access to health care, things like absolute and actual reform of our public educational system, not talking about vouchers, not talking about charter schools, but like reforms in our education system that can be brought to scale.
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the things that we need to do in terms of our food system, the food and drug administration and the reform that's required in terms of how food gets processed. again, the lobbyists that control many members in our congress are not going to allow them to do those things. so there are clear-cut ways to end poverty. and it has to do with education, has to do with food and has to do with access to health care. those are not the kinds of issues that a lot of republican politicians can get behind. >> well, i mean, bob, it's easy to say that their republican attitude toward how to fight the war on poverty comes down to simple cruelty, right? but their argument would be that they just feel they have a more efficient way of doing it. that helping businesses, that doing tax cuts somehow or other does benefit the poor. have democrats done a good enough job of arguing against the republican -- i won't call them ideas, bauer they're not really policy-based but republican norms they put into the system that it's all about deficit reduction and tax cuts. >> well, it depends what period of time you're talking about. obviously in the progressive era, in the new deal and new
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frontier and great society, democrats were making this argument. i think it is a shame that for too long too few democrats and too few democratic leaders talked about the problem of poverty in this country. even as they were doing something about it. under bill clinton, as i said earlier, the number of poor people went down. it went back up under george bush. but republicans do not have an idea here. they have a history. a history that goes back to the 19th century. it basically says, if you let people on their own, if you deny them unemployment benefits, if somehow or other they've got to scrape and beg and hope to get health care, they're going to pull themselves up by their own boot straps. but you know, lyndon johnson said it well at howard university in 1965. this is a theory that says that somehow or other, you can run a race, and it's a fair race to get to the finish line of a decent life, where some people start halfway around the track, and other people start way at the back. that's the republican theory. it's wrong. it's profoundly wrong. and i think the country is
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ultimately going to reject it. >> james, you really kind of can't get away from the racial component here. because part of what reagan -- sort of injected into the system in his campaign when he first ran for president and part of what's sort of become glommed on to this argument about poverty is the notion that programs at the federal level that help people mainly help minorities and therefore are a way of buying the votes of black and brown people. how did democrats counter that argument? because it has become pretty ingrained on the right. >> it has. i think first democrats have to acknowledge the fact that the entire conversation around so-called entitlements, most of the conversation around access to affordable health care. we have to acknowledge what the challenges are. one of the reasons you're able to stigmatize policies is to inject race into conversations and a lot of our folks on the right continue to do that. but i think we have to -- we have to push really hard around this particular issue, because the kind of systemic change that is required means we have to kind of set politics aside in
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some ways. i'm not sure if democrats are willing to do that. but you really have to do that. one way you do that is talk about, yes, you can talk about percentages and disproportionate ways in which people of color are represented in terms of poverty and in terms of programs that are so-called entitlement programs. but the large majority of folk who benefit from those programs are not people of color. so it's an american issue. and in a nation that's as rich as this country, when you have 46 million people in poverty and the number of people across all demographics that will enter in and out of poverty over the course of their lifetimes, it just doesn't make sense that we can't have common sense conversations about policy ohs that strengthen the social safety net, about a jobs bill that puts people back to work. about access to affordable health care. about really reforming our educational system. you can talk about ending the war on poverty all you want to, but if we're not talking about those issues, we're not going to end poverty in this nation. >> i have to talk politics with you. it does seem that where democrats want to go in january, where they're going to go first is not so much on the anti
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poverty issue but really to unemployment insurance benefits. give us some idea of what democrats can do realistically to try to get that issue through. because it's going to be very difficult, as you can imagine, to get it through the house of representatives. >> well, i think they can get it through the senate. i think they will get it through the senate. i think then there has to be a lot of pressure on boehner. there's some polling data out today that suggests that even in his own district, people are overwhelmingly in favor of extending unemployment benefits. but he's dealing with a caucus that does believe in this kind of social darwinism, this reactionary view of the world. you know, when i was listening a few minutes ago, i had the image in my head of the children of middle class and wealthy people walking by the children of poor people who were sweeping up the lunchroom before they can get something to eat. now, somehow or other, we have to get past that in this society. we have to get to some basic ideas of social justice and what's fair and giving people a chance to compete in life.
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i think the only way to do that is for democrats to pound away at this issue in january. and by the way, i think unemployment benefits is an issue of poverty. because if you take away those unemployment benefits, many workers who were formally middle class, they're going to be poor and we're going to see the ranks of the poor increase. >> it does sound very de kenzian. literally these children have to clean in front of other kids and we know how strong social pressures are as young people. james, looking prospectively now, looking forward, the next big issue on the table for democrats is how they negotiate with paul ryan and others on budgetary issues. and paul ryan, who maybe had a little come to jesus moment, because suddenly he's talking about poverty too, the pope putting pressure on conservative christian politicians on the right by talking about poverty. is this a space where democrats can maybe move left in terms of what they're demanding in budget negotiations and get off this track of deficits and debt? >> let us please hope so, joy. let's hope the democrats can be
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emboldened by the kinds of conversations that are going on. and yes, move to the left. you know why they need to do that politically, joy? the constituents voting democratic are to the left of the policies in office. and so they need to sort of align themselves with their constituency. the progressive people within the democratic party want to address issues of poverty, have been talking about poverty for years. people have been researching and doing studies on it for decades. and now is the time, not just because deficits have been cut but because the budget has been stabilized the next couple years for us to think critically about what we can do to end poverty in america. >> bob shrum and james peterson, thanks to both of you and happy holidays. >> happy holidays to you. >> thank you. an obamacare curveball that could actually work in your favor. details ahead in the punchout. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. it's not the "limit the cash i earn every month" card. it's not the "i only earn decent rewards at the gas station" card. it's the no-games, no-signing up,
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the colorado republican told the "denver post" he won't debate his fellow republican challengers running for governor of my former state. because he wants to, quote, reduce the number of self-inflicted wounds democrats can use for campaign fodder. de can use for campaigns. foot in mouth disease does seem to be contagious in your party. >> it's three agencies of government when i get there that are gone. commerce, education, and the -- what's the third one there? >> that's what freedom is all about. taking your own risks. this whole idea you have to prepare and take care of everybody -- >> as they would say in china, mitt. >> i'll tell you what. $10,000 bet? >> but tom tancredo needs to be reminded cams ro don't only roll during debates. here's some of his moments on tape.
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welcome back to "the ed show." and now for some important information for "ed show" viewers. we're in the final hours for last minute shoppers and we're not talking about christmas. it's last call to sign up for insurance under the affordable care act to have coverage starting new year's day. the white house is being very flexible on this deadline. if people are still in line to sign up tomorrow, they will be covered on january 1st. president obama himself will join the millions of americans enrolling in the federal exchange today. the president will log in to healthcare.gov while on vacation in hawaii to symbolically sign up and show his support for the program. but even at this eleventh hour to sign up for 2014, lawmakers are still arguing over the benefits. >> the president is working to fix it. we are working in the senate to fix it. we urge our republican colleagues to join us in fixing it. >> what i would say is we need to change health care. but what they've done, you can't fix this mess.
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>> despite the negativity, new numbers show fewer americans are losing insurance and more are signing up each day. more than half a million americans signed up for the affordable care act insurance in december alone. many states said they saw an uptick in demand last week leading up to today's deadline. and dr. ronnie whitfield joins me now. thanks for being here, doc. >> hey, joy. how you doing? >> very well, thank you. talk about the significance of this. we are now seeing more signups to the affordable care act. as a medical professional, what is the significance of people being able to access this care? >> joy, as you know, thousands of people die each year because of a lack of access to health care. the market place in the past has been very unfair to our citizens. they had high premiums, they were medically underwritten and incurred very high costs. so you have to get involved in
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this health care plan today. if you have medicare, medicaid, or health insurance by your employer, you're not at a sense of urgency today. but if you're the janitor in my practice or the barber in my practice, you're under urgency to do so. this is an important day to be signed up. >> and it's also producing an extra burden on organizations like your organization that has worked with msnbc to provide these free clinics. it increases the burden on organizations like yours, right? when people don't have health care. >> exactly. even if the health care plan and the rollout was perfectly, you know, no flaws, no problems at all, there would still be about 30 million people in this country going without insurance. that's why the association of clinics and systems around the country provide that safety net for individuals who still would go without health care
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insurance. many people think the working poor are -- have access, but they do not. just because you have a job does not mean you can have insurance. we've got to get the individuals out that are eligible to sign up. >> you have a new poll that shows the support for the country's health care law. it's dropped to a record low. but at the same time signups are increasing. really increasing rapidly. what do you think is going on here? >> well, interesting thing about that poll, joy, is on 1,035 people but the abc poll also showed support was on the rise up to pre-enrollment levels. so 30 million people will go without health insurance when the rollout is done and complete. there's millions of people uninsured still and thousands will die each year. i'm not much into statistics when i know there's people in my practice i can touch daily that are going without insurance and need help instantly.
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the poll's not a big deal to me. more important, some of the changes that are extending the enrollment period. we've got to get people enrolled today. very important. >> what do you think about the opponents telling people not to sign up, encouraging young people especially not to get health insurance? >> i think that is a ludicrous. on the part of some programs on the louisiana democratic party in louisiana, we're trying to dispel some of the myths and the garbage and baggage being put out there about the affordable care act. joy, people are dying. if we're not signing up for this health care act, then you're going to -- people are still going to lose their lives. that rhetoric being put out there is just that. rhetoric. it has been proven poll by poll that the american people don't want to repeal this law. they want to fix this law.
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that's what we should be doing. >> thank you so much for your time and insights. that's all for "the ed show." i'm joy reid for ed shultz on "the ed show." "politicsnation" starts now. tonight's lead, republicans grinches launching fistful of coal. as americans gather around the dinner table across the country, many are facing economic anxiety that could have been prevented. it's due to republican stinginess on key issues. more than 1 million americans face losing their unemployment benefits in just five days. for them, these are urgent times. and it shouldn't be happening. republicans in congress are blocking an extension of

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